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  1. After returning from an amazing trip to Peru, the realities of normal life welcomed me home. From the thrill of paragliding over the cliffs in Lima and the awe-inspiring opportunity to scale the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, I crash landed back into my daily routine. Reality leapt back onto my radar screen with all of its blipping demands: Bills. Mail. Work. Home.

    That’s always a doozy. Every month there’s always an unexpected expense; that’s part of the joys of home ownership. Now that we can’t count on our house to be an increasing asset, this nasty habit of surprise expenditures is even more annoying. Cue the violins while I whine …

    While we were away our pool became a thriving colony of algae—iridescent green and yellow contrasted with Dalmatian-sized spots of inky black. Several frogs had taken up residence as well as a slender but lengthy snake. I’m usually quite respectful of animal life, but I’ve got to admit: I really wanted to nail that stinker. Fortunately—for the snake, that is, the pool guy retrieved the snake and tossed it into the yard before I could suggest a more permanent solution.

    After adding gobs of chlorine and brushing the pool for hours—trust me, it was hours, I’ve got the blisters to prove it—the only survivor of my pool’s alien population was the dreaded black algae. What’s so special about black algae? They’re pretty primitive on the evolutionary scale but they’ve developed some impressive survival skills. Black algae actually secretes a coating which insulates it from the fatal effects of chlorine. Rather impressive for an organism without a brain.

    Got me thinking about how people build up layers of insulation to shelter them from hard times and harsh people. Survival is a primal instinct. I’ve been known to set up a barrier or two … so I guess I’m at least as smart as some algae! Maybe smarter; My pool is sparkling clean and the water reflects a lovely shade of aqua.
    Now about those personal walls, I think I’ll save that for another post.

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